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May 11, 2018

May 11-12, 2018

Back: May 9-10, 2018

May 12, 2018 New: My essays from when I wrote a weekly politcal column for Capitol Hill Blue circa 2009. || Archive of Daily Kos articles || 

Jonathan Swan 1 hour ago

My Daily Kos Story today: 

ONLINE TOOLS: Google News email alerts for Trump, narcissism, dementia, and 25th Amendment

This regular Daily Kos reader always has something negative to comment whenever I post something about Trump and his being psychologically unfit to be president. This is his latest and my response:

I have no doubt that Trump is unfit to be POTUS: his long and public history of criminality should be glaring disqualifiers for the position of POTUS.
Every time I hear about Duty to Warn and those who claim that Trump has a mental illness, I am reminded of the dark days of the campaign of 2016.
I am sure many here a dkos remember the fall of 2016, when the media was full of reports that Hilary Clinton may be unfit to be president because of Parkinson’s Disease.  Remember that?  How some pundits and even a few medical doctors claimed that a couple of highly selective (and/or highly edited and manipulated) video clips of HRC’s public appearances proved that HRC was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.  For her part, HRC denied that she had Parkinson’s Disease, and referred interested parties to the results of her own medical exam which reported no evidence of Parkinson’s Disease.  Despite her denials and those of the medical experts who had directly examined her, conservatives continued to report that HRC was ill because it was politically convenient for them to say that.
Now I don’t know if HRC has Parkinson’s Disease or not.  But I do know there is a way to objectively and definitively “rule in” or “rule out” a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease (PD).   PD arises when dopamine-producing neurons in the Substantia Nigra of the brain die off: this neuronal loss in this specific area of the brain can be identified histologically — if neuronal loss is present in this region of the brain, a diagnosis of PD is confirmed; if no neuronal loss is present, a diagnosis of PD is incorrect.
Sadly for Duty to Warn, Trump, and our honest political discourse, there is no possible way to “rule in” or “rule out” any of the things those associated with Duty to Warn say about Trump’s supposed mental illness: no possible way to “rule in” or “rule out” a diagnosis of Narcissism, Malignant Narcissism, Personality Disorder, Psychopathy, Anti-Social Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, etc.  That is because, despite 50 years of a dedicated effort to do so, neuroscientists have not been able to identify any physical or physiological pathology associated with any psychiatric illness (with the debatable exception of fibrillary plaques and tangles in Alzheimer’s Disease).  So unlike the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, there is no way to objectively and definitively confirm a diagnosis of any psychiatric illness.  What we have instead are the opinions of those associated with Duty to Warn, not empirically verifiable facts of science. 
Trump should be removed from office because of his criminal behavior.  But neither Trump, Sec. Clinton, nor anyone else deserves to be falsely pilloried in public with allegations of an unprovable illness.

My answer:

Hugh, good to see you are still out there as a naysayer to those dozens of highly qualified mental health professionals who have in various ways said that Trump is psychologically unfit for office. They range from the most famous persons to weigh in on Trump from the world of psychology, Robert Jay Lifton and Philip Zimbardo, to the hitherto lesser-known but also highly qualified shrinks with numerous publications like Lance DodesJohn Gartner, and Bandy Lee. As for me, I just went to Michigan State, was the director of a small mental health center, and write on Daily Kos. I have never had a major publication.
I hope you read what  I posted by Bill Moyers and Robert Jay Lifton, and have read some of what the shrinks besides yours truly have written, if not the book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.


Morning Thoughts:

Art, of course, is politically powerful and much needed in this era. I particularly like the New Yor Daily News covers featuring Trump because each is a mini-billboard displayed on hundreds of newsstands across the five boroughs of New York City. Oftentimes they are created at night for breaking news Trump travesties so they can be printed to hit the newsstands for the morning commuters
There are many other examples of great Trump cover art, Time, Newsweek, and The New Yorker for example. And then there’s Der Spiegel. This cover has a compelling backstory. Consider this Washington Post story, This Der Spiegel Trump cover is stunning, from Feb. 2017. 
Edel Rodriguez came to the United States from Cuba as a political refugee in 1980. Like many immigrants, he was angered by President Trump's executive order temporarily banning entry to the United States for travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from around the world.
“I was 9 years old when I came here, so I remember it well, and I remember the feelings and how little kids feel when they are leaving their country,” Rodriguez said. “I remember all that, and so it bothers me a lot that little children are being kept from coming to this country.”
Unlike most immigrants, however, Rodriguez channeled his anger into a piece of art that is now on the cover of one of the world's leading magazines. 
His art the the Statue of Liberty head the cover on the upper left. 


With a circulation of 800,000, Der Spiegel is one of the largest weekly magazines in Europe 
The most recent Der Spiegel cover was shown on MSNBC last night.


May 11, 2018 (Below: My review of La Piloto, the show I am binge-watching on NetFlix)

George Will's wordsmithing sets a high standard - my Daily Kos story today

Trump is no longer the worst person in government - WaPo by George Will


My current NetFlix binge is La Piloto, a 2017-18 Spanish language subtitled Univision crime soap opera. Here are some fragmented thoughts about it:

I couldn't find a review of La Piloto on an English language website. There are some in Spanish so I decided to post my thoughts in a fragmented review and use Google to translate it to put it on a fan Facebook page.

----- SPOILERS!-----

I am on episode 69 watching on Netflix here in Oregon. The show is a Univision soap opera. It has the excellent production values, beautiful scenery, the most screen chewing over- acting possible, and the sappiest repetitive soft piano music for the love scene soft-focus flashbacks. 

When I started watching I kept waiting for the story to wrap up and for the many psychopaths to get killed or caught. Finally, after 20 or so hours of viewing when they all kept escaping I checked and discovered there are 80 episodes. I keep wanting to give up in frustration but am hooked. 

I was happy to see Capitán Argüelles the crooked cop, shot, although it was sad that his honest police officer son Raul finally discovered this had to shoot him in self-defense, and got paralyzed in the shootout. 

At last Óscar, trafficker chief John's younger brother, is dead, because he was too dumb to learn how to parachute properly. Poor Óscar whose barely concealed erotic love for John could never be returned in kind.*

It is frustrating to see how utterly gullible the heroes are. Why couldn't they see the numerous clues that Zulima was betraying them? Only Yolanda's mother Estela saw through her. Estela is the winner of the most narcissistic mother award. I keep wanting Yolanda's beloved Auntie Rosabla or Yolanda doesn't slap her silly.

It was fun to watch honest Federale police lieutenant and the heroes partner, Mónica Ortega, discover by necessity her inner-badass when she ends up in prison and inmates she arrested were trying to kill her. Now she's the queen of the prison.

What makes the storyline so impossible is the numbers of times John Lucio and  Colonel Santamaria are able to escape. Come on, Óscar being able to sneak onto the DEA airplane to free the escape artist John. John should have been wrapped in chains with multiple locks which couldn't be opened until he got to Miami.

Of course, the story is driven by the obsessions three men have with Yolanda. John's was so gullible to believe Óscar that she betrayed him and then wanting her dead was quite a stretch to believe possible.

More credible was the psychology of the most psychopathic bloodthirsty character Colonel Santamaria. He is an absolute psychopath with no redeeming features. His relentless quest for revenge because Yolanda spurned him was ridiculous. 

The other total psychopath happens to be a woman. Zulima, whose treachery from trying to get John to kill Yolanda to actually murdering Amanda was finally exposed to all the women partners she betrayed in episode 70. Heroine Yolanda thought they were best friends until Zulima tried to shoot her in the episode I just watched. As that episode ended she stole a light plane and Yolanda was chasing her in another airplane.

I am starting to like Arley Mena, the number three in the Lucio gang, because he obviously regrets shooting his girlfriend Amanda  (who Zulima killed) and wants to take care of his baby. 

I can't wait to see how this ends. The big question, assuming Yolanda stays out of prison, is whether she will end up with John, or put another way, who Dave Mejia will end up with, Yolanda who somehow avoids not going to prison or the wrongly convicted Mónica who will certainly get out of jail.

I think Mónica would be best for him because her love is the deepest.  

Main Characters:

  • Livia Brito as Yolanda Cadena: The series' protagonist, her dream is to become an airplane pilot.
  • Arap Bethke as John Lucio: He is an airplane pilot, has an airplane company with his brother Oscar and uses it as a front for his illicit business. He teaches Yolanda everything about aviation.
  • María Fernanda Yepes as Zulima / La Bruja: She is the best friend of Yolanda, works in Central America Air as stewardess.
  • Alejandro Nones as Óscar Lucio: He's John's brother.
  • María de la Fuente as Mónica Ortega: She is assisting Dave in the DEA's investigation and the Mexican government against Central America Air and the Lucio brothers.
  • Verónica Montes as Lizbeth Álvarez: She is one of Yolanda's aides, working as a stewardess in Central America Air.
  • Natasha Domínguez as Amanda Cuadrado: She is one of Yolanda's aides, working as a stewardess in Central America Air and for Yolanda as her helper to commit illicit business.
  • María Fernanda García as Estela: She is Yolanda's mom.
  • Mauricio Aspe as Arley Mena: He is one of the helpers of the Lucio brothers, Amanda's lover and Guillermo's father.
  • Stephanie Salas as Rosalba: She is Yolanda's aunt.
  • Arturo Barba as Zeky Gilmas: He is the main manager of Central América Air and partner of the Lucio brothers.
  • Tommy Vásquez as Coronel Santamaría: He is a Colombian guerrilla lieutenant.
  • Macarena Achaga as Olivia: She is Yolanda's chief of security and help with the use of weapons.
  • Juan Colucho as Dave Mejía: He is an agent of the DEA that tries to imprison the Lucio brothers and to eliminate the company Central America Air.


* Is Oscar Lucio supposed to be gay? This is translated from a Spanish website:

Alejandro Nones talks about Óscar Lucio's homosexuality in 'La Piloto'

The 41-year-old Venezuelan actor enjoyed the recordings of the series, having fun being a misogynist, sick and delinquent man.

by Raquel Sanz

Alejandro Nones, the Venezuelan actor, is happy to give life to the villain Óscar Lucio in 'La Piloto', a violent, misogynist and gay guy: "He has been a wonderful character, a very complex character, who has never declared himself homosexual , it is clear that it is, "he said exclusively for Univision Entertainment.

"As an actor, I am very clear that I have to tell stories, with the greatest possible credibility, and from that, the audience decides with which part of the character they identify. I commit myself in body and soul with my characters, "confessed Nones, who is currently living in Mexico, waiting for another project.

Grateful for the challenge of being able to interpret such a complex man, he explained where the fortune is of having found something like that in his career.

"For Óscar Lucio, his homosexuality is an element that is there without being explicit. I did not make a character that was clearly one way, but I played a man with many demons and unhappy and as a result of the cancer that detected him, life changed him in many ways, "the character is totally removed from his reality, because Nones is a man in love and chivalrous, who currently has a relationship with a woman, who has nothing to do in the middle.

Alejandro None talks about the very sexy photo shoot he did for a magazine

A few weeks after the end of the 'La Piloto' broadcasts on Univision, Alejandro thanked the public for the favorable response, he even told us that a second season could possibly be recorded, "I am grateful and pleased that the audience received it so well. . It is likely that there will be a second season. They have not told us anything with that clarity, they're just rumors so far. "

Talking about drug trafficking, did not generate any problem for production, for the actor it was about telling a story where there is also love and dreams to be fulfilled.

"I see it as a narco-trafficking story, a story of dreams and love where some of the most important characters are inside the illicit business. Drug trafficking is a sensitive issue that affects Latin American society and portrays a reality. "

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